Original Medicare is a federal health insurance plan that consists of Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). To qualify, you must be 65 or over, and in most cases, you’re automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B once you’re eligible. In addition, individuals under 65 who receive Social Security disability insurance may qualify for Medicare.
Original Medicare coverage includes many health care services, yet some enrollees find that the plan isn’t sufficient enough to meet their needs. As a result, they end up spending a lot of their own out-of-pocket money. Original Medicare doesn’t include a prescription drug plan, nor does it include coverage for many other healthcare services such as vision or dental. If you need more than what Original Medicare can offer, it’s time to explore Medicare plans offered through the private health insurance company Aetna.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of Medicare, here’s a look at some Aetna Medicare plans which could be a better fit for your needs.
WHAT IS AETNA MEDICARE ADVANTAGE (PART C)?
If you’re looking for Medicare coverage outside the federal government, an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan could be what you’re looking for.
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Medicare Advantage plans are also referred to as Medicare Part C. As a basic rule, any Medicare plan sold by a private insurance company must offer the same benefits as Original Medicare. For this reason, Medicare Part C automatically includes the benefits of Medicare Part A and Part B. In addition, you’ll receive benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t offer.
For example, several Medicare Advantage plans offered through Aetna also include prescription drug coverage. This is known as Medicare Part D. As people age, their healthcare needs change and certain medications might be needed on a regular basis.
Without prescription drug coverage, you would pay for many prescriptions yourself. Having a Medicare Part D plan, however, can reduce what you pay out of pocket for medication.
Keep in mind that some Medicare Advantage programs don’t include Part D as a benefit. So make sure you research plans carefully and then choose one that offers the coverage you need.
If you currently have Original Medicare, you may not pay a monthly premium for coverage. This isn’t the case with a Medicare Advantage program. Since Aetna is a private insurer, you may have a monthly premium, which can vary by plan and location.
Key points of an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan:
- Depending on the plan, you might be required to use doctors and hospitals within a specific network.
- These plans include additional healthcare benefits (dental, vision, hearing, non-emergency transportation, fitness programs).
- Coverage isn’t usually available outside the U.S.
- Some plans may have copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. These are your out-of-pocket expenses for covered services.
You can enroll in Medicare Part C when you initially become eligible for Medicare. The Initial Enrollment Period is three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after your 65th birthday.
You can enroll later if you don’t enroll at this time, but only during annual Open Enrollment Periods.
Source: Black Enterprise